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In California can a new spouse's income be included in child support?

Modesto, CA |

I have raised my children, but my new spouse's ex-wife is taking him back to court for more child support and she wants my income included in the mix. I make more than my husband, but also shoulder considerably more of the household expenses too.

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Attorney answers 2


Family Code section 4057.5.(a) (1) reads The income of the obligor parent's subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner shall not be considered when determining or modifying child support, except in an extraordinary case where excluding that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child subject to the child support award, in which case the court
shall also consider whether including that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to any child supported by the obligor or by the obligor's subsequent spouse or nonmarital partner.


In California, they will not use the new spouse's income to calculate child support. The only reason that they will even want to know your income is for tax purposes. California child support orders are set pursuant to California child support guidelines set forth in California Family Code Section 4055. In calculating your husband's child support obligation, they will put him in as "married filing jointly." Therefore, they will want to know how much you earn so that they can put your income under the "new spouse's income" category. That way, the formula will calculate your husband's net income and his tax liability based on how much you, his new wife, earns. The more you earn, the more your husband pays taxes on his income and thus, the less he takes home and therefore, the less he pays his ex. Child support is really based on net income. However, before you get too excited, your income may decrease your ex's child support obligation very little. It may lower it by about $20 or $30 per month depending on how much you make. But, your income will certainly not increase your husband's child support obligation.

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